Flood worsens in Indian-controlled Kashmir
Updated: 2014-09-09 11:01
NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD - The flood situation in Indian-controlled Kashmir was getting worse Monday with at least 160 people have been killed in flood related incidents, according to official accounts. But casualties could be higher as many places remain inaccessible. As for Pakistan, a t least 203 people have been killed and hundreds others injured in rain-triggered accidents up till Monday, officials said.
TV footages showed pictures taken from plane of whole towns and villages flooded completely, with tens of thousands of people lacking drinking water and food and waiting for evacuation.
Experts fear the flood could escalate into a humanitarian crisis due to destruction of roads, telecom towers and electricity lines, cutting off many areas from outside, while landslides are being reported in many places.
Authorities said massive rescue operations were under to evacuate tens of thousands of people stranded in floods.
A total of 25 boats have been launched in flooded areas of Srinagar city to ferry people out. Authorities say over 5,100 people have been rescued from flooded villages and towns.
The Indian Army cantonment, civil secretariat and the high court in Srinagar have also been inundated.
"We are facing a big problem of communication as all links are down. We are not able to communicate with our teams sent on ground in this flood-ravaged areas. Also, as water level is high in many places our personnel are not able to reach the stranded," National Disaster Response Force chief O. P. Singh told reporters in Delhi.
In view of the deteriorating situation, the local government has ordered closure of all schools till Sept 12.
The Army has deployed 184 columns with 75 to 100 personnel each while Indian Air Force has sent 29 planes and helicopters into service, set up a disaster monitoring cell and alerted all its bases to a high state of readiness.
Pakistan Army has also established 54 relief camps and 73 mobile health camps in the worst hit areas of Punjab.